Future Marketing Summit scaled

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Hillary and Tenzing enjoying a hearty cup of beef tea while scaling their own summit. Image courtesy of bernard-Voyer.com

Yesterday I had the great pleasure of chair in a panel session on technology at the Future Marketing Summit in London. With me were Steve Henry (creative legend and ex-employer), Rory Sutherland (Ogilvy supremo), Amelia Torode (VCCP’s digital chief) and David Grebert (P&G’s future guru on advertising and instore experience). We were a little light on technologists to be honest but I rather enjoyed myself having these brains at my beck and call.

It is always a pain as a facilitator that you can’t lob in your own point of view so I make sure I pissed all over the subject to before hand in my introduction. I talked about the need to retain the magic and delight that new technology brings back to marketing, my preference for tech’ that amplifies brand ideas and the need for us to be more modest when approaching new technology and media.

You can download the speech (if you are a regular reader don’t expect too much you haven’t seen here already) while the slides are on a slideshare (which you won’t be able to see if you are reading this as a feed).

Dynamic micro brands

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The Swallow tailed hummingbird. Like most dynamic micro brands they are small agile and very fast. Image courtesy of Flavio Cruvinel Brandao

So, I have been obsessing recently about cool and funky little brands like Method, Hendricks, Riverford Organic Vegetables, Dorset Cereals, Good Energy and the like.

And I thought I might draw some conclusions about what is going on and the things that unite them.

The intention is to provide some learning for other brand owners, especially when they are approaching NPD projects.

The Brand Catwalk – Good Energy

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Image courtesy of Hans van Reenen

Brands help businesses fight the inexorable drift towards commoditisation – the point at which consumers can’t tell the difference between the offerings in the marketplace and can only choose on price.

And you don’t get much more commoditised than the UK energy market, where there is the square root of sod all to differentiate the miserable operations that try and claw out an existence in this market.

So price rules, especially in times of high wholesale energy prices.

However, there is one corner of the market where real difference is starting to emerge – green electricity tariffs and suppliers.

The curious case of the mushroom cloud

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Peter Sellers in Kubrick’s 1965 film, Dr Strangelove. Image from dvdbeaver.com.

A light little post for you after the death of planning ding dong.

Ever since I had my statcounter installed I have been able to tell the proportion of people coming from different countries. On the average day about 40% of my visitors are from the UK, 40% the US and 20% from the rest of the world.

But one of the other advantages of Stat Counter is you can tell whether a visitor has come directly to you or via another site. Every day around 10% of these US visitors come from Google Images and, rather worryingly, they are searching for one thing…. mushroom clouds.

Now this I like

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Quick mini advocate ladies and gentlemen.

I think the holiday category is tough on the strategist – a commodified marketplace with loads of me too players driven by price.

But Lastminute’s latest campaign is a real gem – they are encouraging hard working Britons to take 5 holidays and breaks a year. I’m sure it is probably just a damn good promotional idea for January (making light of the 5 fruit and veg a day message) but if I were them I’d adopt it as their central brand idea. Its nice to see a travel agent with a point of view and so nice one Farm

The adliterate address 2007

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Scream if you want to go faster.

Normal service has been resumed here at adliterate towers after an exhilarating yet restorative christmas break.

I for one have been itching to get back to the business of figuring out what to do with this business and throwing it at you bones and all.

What I can promise you this year is a quicker pace, more radical thinking, some big issues brought to heel and crankyness galore.

Along with the Advocate (suggestions for January if you please) there will be two new ‘features’, a monthly brand focus that points up an interesting and newish brand worth mentioning in despatches and an off topic thread called ‘As I please’ in honour of George Orwell. But more of those later.

And of course this year its an APG Creative Thinking Awards year with some big changes we have been working on including a more internationalist approach, a Strategy Agency of the Year award and big prizes. And in true Advocate stylee I’m not going to sit around waiting for you to enter your genius thinking I am going to come and hunt you down with a big stick and wrestle the entries off you.

And to top it all I will turn 40 in June and will have absolute freedom to be as surley and cranky as I like.

Ladies and gentlemen, hold on to your hats and scream if you want to go faster.

Photo coutesy of From Afghanistan With Love

Bah humbug

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The Author being visited by the ghost of posts past. Illustration by Arthur Rackham.

Have a very Happy Christmas from adliterate.

Here’s a festive film to get you in the mood.

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